Losing weight can be a long, arduous task and let’s face it, who has time for that in today's society?! Personally, I’m a mega fan of all things cereal and it will be a cold day in the land of the dead before I give it up for good.
Consequently, I put on a few pounds from time to time because of all of the sugar. A valid price to pay for the sweet, sweet goodness that is sugar puffs doused in dairy products; however, every price must be paid (such is the law of the universe). When it comes time to pay the piper, I’m also a big fan of doing it in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Below is my top 5 list for the best way to lose weight fast, may it serve you well!
Ironically the most difficult of all the methods, removing sugar from your diet is the most effective way to lose weight. I’m typically not a fan of anecdotal weight loss stories, but I believe this one is appropriate. I knew a fellow in my college years who had a rather…. Rotund physique. He consumed a full 2L of a popular green soda daily. Not weekly, DAILY. He began noticing that even one flight of stairs completely depleted him. It was a turning point in his life, because the next day he gave up soda, cold turkey. Within three months, he had lost approximately 50 pounds. That’s nearly 2 pounds of weight loss per day!
Be wary of hidden sources of sugar. Cereal, ice cream, and soda are obviously full of sugar, but popular products nowadays can be chock full of it. Often, sugar is disguised with alternate labels in an effort to trick you into believing it is healthier. When it comes to losing weight, sugar is sugar is sugar. Some examples include:
- Beet Sugar
- Coconut Sugar
- Agave Nectar/Syrup
- Fruit Juice Concentrate
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Fat Free Yogurt
- Granola Bars
- Dried Cranberries
- BBQ Sauce
- Salad Dressings
- Wine (saving your heart isn’t an excuse, eat raw berries instead!)
2. Drastically increase your water intake
Water is vital for every metabolic process in your body, and it’s almost a certainty that you are just barely consuming enough to get by. Increasing your water intake may seem like it won’t do much at first. Over the long run (a week or so, don’t panic), it will help to reduce inflammation in your system, coincidentally removing excess water from your body, and reducing your body weight and improving that “soft” look your stomach might have.
Water can also reduce cravings. Individuals tend to feel hungry when they are dehydrated, and even experienced dieters can get confused. If you are hungry, try to take stock of the last time you consumed water. And not flavored water!
Plain water. The artificial sweeteners can still increase your insulin levels, leading to weight retention.
3. Move your carbohydrates
Obviously vague, but it will become clear! What does breakfast across the world typically include? Bread or cereal. Simple carbohydrates through and through. The issue here is it can greatly reduce your insulin sensitivity. We’ve covered this topic a number of times throughout our blog-o-sphere, but what’s one more time?
After sleeping for 8-10 hours, your body has its greatest insulin sensitivity. This means that even small amounts of simple carbohydrates can send your insulin levels skyrocketing. Insulin is a nutrient storage hormone, and it does not discern between protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Whatever is in your blood, is going to get crammed right into a cell!
Combat this by moving your carbohydrates to later in the day. Post workout is an ideal time as well. Contrary to popular belief, eating carbs after 6:00pm will not magically cause you to gain weight. It’s a terrible lie, much like the
idea that you need carbs for breakfast!
4. Increase non-starchy vegetable intake, two-fold
This method can be the most difficult, as most individuals get their vegetable intake from vegetables being baked and slathered in butter or oil. Not much can be said about the benefit of vegetables that you haven’t already heard, so I’ll
save you the after school special speech. Instead, I’ll simply list out some of the easiest go-to vegetables. All of these are easy to eat raw, don’t require dressings, and are easily transportable in a lunch bag! • Cucumbers • Carrots
• Bell Peppers (red/yellow/orange) • Snow Peas On the other hand, these vegetables should be cooked as their anti-oxidant levels have been to shown to increase after cooking: • Asparagus • Tomatoes
This one seems like it would be top of the list, but we’ve put it at the bottom of the pile for a very good reason: it can backfire, in a BIG way.
When starting a weight loss routine, everyone thinks that they must embark on a Forrest Gump like trek on a treadmill. The issue here is that low intensity cardio has been shown, repeatedly, to be vastly inferior to weight training. It can help reduce weight, mainly through water loss, but it will greatly affect your metabolism and hormone levels. Not in a positive way though.
By not crossing the anaerobic threshold, your body will only consume calories during the exercise. It is criminally inefficient, and obviously not the best way to lose weight. This is a top-5 list, not “kinda sort works, I guess” list. Cardio should be your absolute last resort when trying to lose weight.
Instead, opt for weight training. You will burn a comparable number of calories during training, but will also continue to burn calories afterwards. Building muscle will also increase your metabolic rate, thus improving your calorie deficit without changing your overall food intake.
Long story short, skip the cardio. Just…just don’t.